Color Us Impressed! Mother-Daughter Duo Publishes Inspiring Magazine For Young Black Girls
When they couldn't find any publications with girls who looked like them, they made their own!
Serlina Boyd and her six-year-old daughter Faith wanted to pick up some magazines for a homeschooling lesson. When they noticed there was a lack of diversity in the options for young black girls, they decided to do something about it.
The mother-daughter duo worked together to create the first black girls' magazine in the U.K., called 'Cocoa Girl.' The magazine is made for an audience of girls ages 7-14, and features everything from daily affirmations, tips on how to care for natural hair and lessons on black culture.
Serlina wants the magazine to be an inspiration for black girls, who don't always see people who look like them on the cover of magazines. The cover of the first issue of Cocoa Girl features a bright, colorful photograph of Faith, eating a "sweet."
That's Faith, the six-year-old editor of Cocoa Girl, featured on the magazine's cover. @cocoagirlmag
"There are a few mothers who have bought this magazine as a surprise for their daughters," Serlina told BBC News. "Some of them have never seen a black girl on the front of a cover before."
Since publishing the magazine in June, the team has sold over 11,000 copies – a remarkable amount considering the steady decline in magazine sales since the pandemic started.
video c/o Alan Johnson
The magazine also has exercises for girls to fill in as they flip through the pages. One prompt asks readers to "write 15 words that describe you" around a drawing of a young girl with a natural hairstyle.
Serlina was disheartened when her daughter struggled to come up with even a few words at first, but after some gentle coaxing she decided on the adjectives "smart, honest and beautiful."
"I knew she was struggling with what she looked like. This journey that she's gone on to love her hair, to love her skin tone, to love everything about herself is the most amazing thing that's happened," Serlina said. "I'm just hoping that other little girls can go on that journey, too."
Serlina has always wanted to pursue a career in publishing, but she said she gave it up years ago after experiencing discrimination and an ever-present "glass ceiling that she couldn't get through." Now, with Cocoa Girl, Serlina is living her dream and helping young girls embrace their culture – sounds like a win-win!
Serlina and Faith have been working on a magazine for young black boys called "Cocoa Boy" that will be published in September. The first issue will focus on how to build long lasting friendships.
The first issue of Cocoa Boy will be available for purchase in September 2020. @cocoagirlmag
While both Cocoa Boy and Cocoa Girl feature black children, Serlina hopes that kids of all races will want to pick up a copy to learn about different cultures.
"These magazines aren't just for black children," she said. "They are for children from all races as it teaches them about the black culture and black history."
What an inspiring duo! We're sure Cocoa Girl has already made a lasting impact on young girls all over the world. We can't wait to see how this amazing publication grows from here.